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UCLA will welcome a limited number of students back to campus this fall, when most classes there and across the UC system will be online.

As universities across the state consider how to increase diversity on campus, the University of California’s fall admission class has the highest percentage ever of Latino students.

UC announced Thursday that it had offered a record number of Latino students admission to its nine undergraduate campuses for this fall. The students now comprise UC’s largest ethnic group of admitted freshmen, increasing from 34% last year to 36%.

The university system also increased the number of first-generation, low-income and California Community College transfer students admitted this year. 

UC did not disclose, however, how many of those students have indicated that they will enroll. In this pandemic time of mainly online classes, some UC campuses may see enrollment drops in the fall.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time as many students have been making their college decision in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” UC President Janet Napolitano said. “UC continues to see increased admissions of underrepresented students as we seek to educate a diverse student body of future leaders. The incoming class will be one of our most talented and diverse yet, and UC is proud to invite them to join us.”

The admissions data is preliminary and reflects offers made as of June 23. The numbers will change as universities admit students from the system’s waitlist. This year, the UC System decided to admit as many students as possible to meet enrollment targets and student preferences. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, system officials said they’re seeing more students decide to enroll closer to home or delay going to college. That has allowed the campuses to reach deeper into the waitlist for students.

Overall, the UC system’s nine undergraduate campuses offered admission to 119,054 freshmen, 69% of applicants. That’s an increase of 8 percentage points.

The campuses also admitted 28,074 transfer students, an increase of 1,374 including the largest-ever class from the California Community Colleges system. The campuses accepted 76% of all applicants, the same level as last year.

Alyssa Sierra, 17, and a Latina, was admitted to UC San Diego and UC Davis. A graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, in Granada Hills, Sierra initially planned to attend a private school in Massachusetts, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she will enroll in the San Diego campus to study computer engineering.

Alyssa Sierra, 17, will attend UC San Diego this fall.

“It’s awesome that I’m able to go to school when many other people don’t have the opportunity to attend colleges, especially UCs,” she said. “I’m very grateful for having this opportunity and I hope that this encourages other Latinos to go for whatever it is that they want to pursue because although we don’t have the upper hand we’re still able to accomplish a lot.”

UC increased its admission offers to underrepresented groups, including Blacks and Latinos, by 4,678 for a total of 33,225 — a 16% increase from last year.

UC’s announcement about admitting more students from underrepresented groups comes as Californians prepare to reconsider the state’s affirmative action ban. The repeal effort is now known as Proposition 16 and will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. Last month, the UC Regents announced their support for repealing the ban, so they could consider race, gender and ethnicity in admissions and hiring.

Nestor Fletes, 18, will attend Cal State LA this fall.

Nestor Fletes, 18, is one of the Latino students admitted to UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, but will ultimately attend Cal State LA. He said the CSU campus is closer to home, and he wants to get a job while he figures out what to study. Still, he’s happy that he had the option to consider a UC campus.

“I feel really good about it,” Fletes said. “I know some people in my school were not even able to apply but I at least had the choice to go to a UC. I feel accomplished.”

The proportion of offers to Black students increased from 4.8% to 5%. Offers to white students decreased by one percentage point to 21% of admitted students. The proportion of Asian American students remained at 35%.

The UC system also increased the number of admission offers to low-income students from 40% in 2019 to 44%. The number of offers to California freshmen who would be the first in their families to attend college increased from 44% to 45% this year.

Offers to California community college students also increased by 756 for a total of 9,640 — a 9% increase over last year. Admission offers to Chicano/Latino and Asian American transfer students increased by one percentage point from last year, as well, to 32% and 29%, respectively. Offers to Black transfer students increased from 5.5% to 5.6%. Offers to white community college transfer students decreased from 31% last year to 29%.

“This year reflects our continued commitment to having one-third of our new students comprised of transfer students despite challenges from the pandemic,” said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, UC’s executive director of undergraduate admissions. “We have seen steady increases over the past several years of admitted transfer students and will work hard to continue this upward trend.”

Actual enrollment numbers will be released in December.

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  1. Laura 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Admitting, or not admitting students because of their race or ethnicity is not okay and ultimately, that is what the UCs continue to do. What about all of the students who worked hard to attend a University of California school, but did get in because they didn't fit the ethnic-racial quota? Furthermore, as a minority person who knows what it is like to be discriminated against, why is this article celebrating the fact that less … Read More

    Admitting, or not admitting students because of their race or ethnicity is not okay and ultimately, that is what the UCs continue to do. What about all of the students who worked hard to attend a University of California school, but did get in because they didn’t fit the ethnic-racial quota?

    Furthermore, as a minority person who knows what it is like to be discriminated against, why is this article celebrating the fact that less white students were admitted this year? Why did their numbers not increase, or at least stay the same since the UCs are obviously purposefully selecting who they admit based on race and ethnicity?

  2. Deborah Meyer-Morris 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

    When are the UC’s going to stop discriminating against students in special education? I don’t see any statistics about this cross section of under represented students anywhere nor does the proposed ballot initiative appear to cure this either. What is the point of the Unruh Act at the university level the IDEA is chronically underfunded and former special education students are denied equal access to the UC system as freshman, much less barely able to … Read More

    When are the UC’s going to stop discriminating against students in special education? I don’t see any statistics about this cross section of under represented students anywhere nor does the proposed ballot initiative appear to cure this either. What is the point of the Unruh Act at the university level the IDEA is chronically underfunded and former special education students are denied equal access to the UC system as freshman, much less barely able to meet CSU A-G requirements for the same reasons. Guided studies is not an elective, But it takes up space in a student’s HS course schedule and is clearly not an AP class. There are many high functioning deaf/hard of hearing and other former K-12 students who should be able to apply to UCs, but can’t because they don’t have a chance of admission. California needs to address this aspect of discrimination, not continue to ignore it.

    Replies

    • Bo Loney 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

      FACTS.

  3. daniel ogun 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

    Pleas e use the term Latinx and not Latino or Latina, which are gendered words. Thank you.

  4. Bo Loney 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

    And Wow. "The proportion of offers to Black students increased from 4.8% to 5%. Offers to white students decreased by one percentage point to 21% of admitted students. The proportion of Asian American students remained at 35%." "Offers to California community college students also increased by 756 for a total of 9,640 — a 9% increase over last year. Admission offers to Chicano/Latino and Asian American transfer students increased by one percentage point from last … Read More

    And Wow. “The proportion of offers to Black students increased from 4.8% to 5%. Offers to white students decreased by one percentage point to 21% of admitted students. The proportion of Asian American students remained at 35%.” “Offers to California community college students also increased by 756 for a total of 9,640 — a 9% increase over last year. Admission offers to Chicano/Latino and Asian American transfer students increased by one percentage point from last year, as well, to 32% and 29%, respectively. Offers to Black transfer students increased from 5.5% to 5.6%. Offers to white community college transfer students decreased from 31% last year to 29%.” Questions arise when this article seems celebratory considering white students are a minority and officially underrepresented in California now.

  5. Bo Loney 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

    When Latino students are now the majority of graduating classes in California it makes sense. I don't see how making sure a majority makes it to University makes any difference towards diversity. Still sad for all the students that worked really hard, went to academically rigorous public high schools, scored really high on the SAT, participated and won in National and International competitions and ultimately got passed over in the "holistic" reviews … Read More

    When Latino students are now the majority of graduating classes in California it makes sense. I don’t see how making sure a majority makes it to University makes any difference towards diversity. Still sad for all the students that worked really hard, went to academically rigorous public high schools, scored really high on the SAT, participated and won in National and International competitions and ultimately got passed over in the “holistic” reviews regardless. Online classes can open opportunities for all.

    Replies

    • Bo Loney 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

      Many sleepless nights, many waking up at 5 in the morning to drive to a magnet school go into attending an academically rigorous school where GPA is at a much high bar. I really think that more research needs to be done for optimization of intellectual potential. I really do. Or maybe we can just stop the bottleneck of education and start using online classes to open up opportunities for everyone.